Get Stuffed This Holiday Season
Joan's on 3rd: Joan's is an LA institution. The food is very good (the baked goods are heavenly; check out the nuts at right), there's an excellent assortment of gourmet items for sale, and it provides great people watching while you shop. What it doesn't provide? A smooth shopping experience. Naive that I was, I supposed that its chaotic check out system was due to cramped conditions. However, the selfsame chaos continues even after its extensive remodel, so what do I know? Still, a selection of food toted to someone's house over the holidays is sure to get you major points.
8350 W. Third St.
Surfas: This emporium of all things food is a combo gourmet victuals outlet and restaurant supply house. Its selection of cheese, charcuterie, olive oils, vinegars, pasta, and frozen goodies (incredible ice cream, butter, and appetizers all come to mind) are unparalleled. Plus, you can pick up baking supplies for the most rocking holiday cookies in town. Seriously, this place has just about everything. Plus, ample parking. Plus, a cafe where you can buy an excellent lunch for yourself. What's not to like?
8777 W. Washington Blvd, Culver City
Saveurs: The French know how to cook, and the couple running Saveurs amply prove that point. Saveurs pops up at farmer's markets around town, proffering imported merguez sausages, real macarons, plus homemade deliciousness to satisfy the Julia Child in you (you know: the Julia Child in you who just wants to eat French food, not prepare it). From pate and quiche to savory stews and sides, Saveurs offers copious holiday offerings. And if you order online, it's even easier to keep you and yours supplied with yumminess for the holidays. Did I mention they deliver? Go online NOW and check it out.
Andrew's Cheese Shop: Out on Montana, there's a powerful amount of dairy waiting for you. Andrew's (that's Andrew himself pictured at right) is a newer addition to LA's love of the fromage, and it's a good one. They're generous with their time and knowledge. And the selection is first rate.
728 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills: Yes, it smells. Actually, that's an understatement: it stinks. But it stinks so good in there, like a medley of age and mold made into culinary art. Cheese this good isn't for everyone, but for those who crave it, the olde Cheese Store is a great place to get it. Bring an assortment to a party. And ignore the complaints of the tiresome lactose intolerant. Let them eat plain crackers.
419 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
Wally's: There must be revelry during the holidays, and nothing says revelry like booze. Luckily, no one does booze quite like Wally's. Its baskets, assortments of alcoholic and digestible offerings, are the stuff of legend, excellent gifts for friends and acquaintances alike. While I normally think of these baskets as being best for clients and other business, I'm sure you can think of someone who'd like a basket of Super Tuscans, or a Tequila sampling, or perhaps some champagne for the new year. Advil for the hangover is extra.
2107 Westwood Blvd.